Scripture: 1 John 2:18-29
Observation: John warns the people about antichrists, those who deny that Jesus is Lord and Christ (meaning “anointed” or “chosen one”). He encourages them to remember what they’ve been taught and therefore remain in close relationship with the Father. Finally, he encourages them to seek the Holy Spirit who knows and speaks all truth.
Application: A few months ago, my sister graduated from pharmacy school. After six years of classes and internships and rotations, she left with her doctorate in pharmacy, passed all of her board and law exams, started a residency at a large hospital, and was named chief resident just a few weeks later. (She’s so brilliant, and I’m so proud of her! We’ll just consider this my not-so-humble brag – I can’t help myself.)
Although she had years of training and experience, she had a lot of fear as she started her residency. She called me frequently, sharing her worries that she would mess up, upset a doctor, or worst of all, give a patient the wrong medication in a life-or-death situation. For the first time, she was on her own – no professors or supervisors to check all of her work, assure her that she was making the right decision, reminding her what she learned in class or during rotation. She had no guide to keep whispering truth into her ear, nudging her towards truth.
Can you identify with that feeling? You’re faced with a tough decision, and it feels like it’s all on your shoulders. As you try to decide what’s right, you’re bombarded with your own emotions, the opinions of others, the inevitable pull towards what’s safe and comfortable -- and you’re left confused, wishing some guiding force would just tell you what to do.
As a follower of Jesus, the good news is you’re not on your own. Unlike my sister, you always have a guide; it’s the Holy Spirit, the quiet teacher that constantly steers you towards truth.
“But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true – it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.” (verse 27)
The Holy Spirit teaches you everything you need to know. It teaches you how to respond to violence, what to say to a friend who’s in trouble, whether to take a new job, and how to forgive a spouse who’s hurt you. The Holy Spirit is more than a guide; it’s a constant source of encouragement and continuous seeker of truth, always nudging you closer and closer to the heart and will of the Father.
If you’re feeling a little lost today, lean in to the Holy Spirit. Make space in your life to hear its whispers. Listen like a small child, innocent and ready to learn, to be guided, and to be corrected. You’re not alone in your big, life-changing decisions or your small everyday ones.
You are not alone.
You are a child of God, and the Holy Spirit is his gift to you, a constant friend who points you towards your loving, gracious, supportive Father.
“Since we know that Christ is righteous, we also know that all who do what is right are God’s children.” (verse 29)
Prayer: God, help me separate out truth and lies that surround me. I pray you’ll allow your Spirit to guide me – not my emotions, not the negative voices in my life, not my own intuition. I pray you’ll constantly lead me towards truth and allow me to be open to your correction and your guidance. Amen.
- What are you dealing with right now that you've been trying to figure out on your own rather than seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit?
- Explore a new way to experience the Holy Spirit (meditation, prayer, praise & worship, reading the Bible, journaling, etc.).